Add producer, lyricist, and composer to the resume of IU South Bend Chancellor Terry L. Allison. His dream of creating a new work for the American musical theatre came a step closer this summer when a workshop of his musical MEGA! was performed in front of an audience on campus. "It's always nerve-wracking to present one's creative work for judgment," said Allison. "But I appreciated the audience's positive responses and constructive comments for improvement."
MEGA! The Musical
MEGA! is an original two-act musical loosely inspired by the story of a minister in Colorado Springs who resigned after a scandal involving sex and drugs. Allison conceived the story, then began to write lyrics and melody to bring it to life. The feminist story reflects on homophobia, religion, and politics in recent American society.
The summer workshop was made possible by a $50,000 grant from the New Frontiers in Arts and Humanities Program at Indiana University. The program supports research, scholarship, and creative activity that sustain and enhance the reputation of IU as a leader in arts and humanities.
"Writing lyrics and melodies represents a new venture for me," Allison said. "But I keep learning more about song writing and may try a second musical in the future."
The chancellor assembled a team of IU South Bend faculty and staff in the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts to work on the project. Our students made up 12 of the 15-member cast. Visiting artists also played key roles in the production and collaborated with Allison on story-telling and musical arrangement.
"There is still a lot of work to do," said Allison. "We learned so much from staging the entire piece."
Next steps include refining MEGA! based on the workshop feedback and then submitting the work to competitions to receive a wider range of professional feedback. A full public performance at IU South Bend may be in the future.
Three Anniversaries Make for a Jubilee Year
Chancellor Terry L. Allison has declared 2016-17 a Jubilee Year at IU South Bend. The special designation celebrates the convergence of three important anniversaries:
- 100 years of classes being offered by Indiana University in South Bend
- 50 years of degrees being conferred at IU South Bend
- 25 years of a unified School of the Arts
To plan the festivities, the chancellor has convened a Jubilee Year Celebration Task Force led by co-chairs Posi Tucker (Class of 1967) and Ken Baierl, chief of staff and director of Communications and Marketing at IU South Bend. The task force of more than 20 members includes alumni representing the first three classes ('67 Tucker, '68 John Voorde, '69 Larry Lentych), students, faculty, staff, and community members.
One feature of the year is an oral history project, which asks alumni and current/retired faculty and staff to share their stories about their experiences on campus. Your story is important. The official records of the university only tells us so much; we need your help to bring our history to life. To participate, please call the Alumni Relations Office at 574-520-4381 or go to http://go.iu.edu/1sK2.
While planning is ongoing, the task force is excited to announce that Alumni Week, taking place April 17-23, will showcase several Jubilee Year celebrations, including an IU Day Birthday Bash on Wednesday, April 19 and a gala event scheduled for Saturday, April 29. The Jubilee Year will also be celebrated at commencement on Tuesday, May 9, and during a family-friendly festival slated for June.
More information will be released in the coming months.